President Donald Trump on Friday voiced fears that America could be “Venezuela on major steroids” should he lose in November.
“I used to say we could be a Venezuela too,” Trump said, noting that fifteen years ago it was “a really wealthy country” with a “tremendous future.”
They “went with a different ideology” and now “that country is a total disaster.”
“It could happen, it could happen,” Trump said during a Friday “Latinos for Trump” roundtable in Trump National Doral, if the protesters on American streets have their way.
“This could be a Venezuela on major steroids, it could happen.”
“With me it doesn’t happen,” Trump said, but with “the wrong people in office, it could happen radically.”
Those comments were the highlight of a program in which the President strenuously contended that Democratic nominee Joe Biden “sold out the Hispanic community” and “betrayed the Hispanic Americans.”
The President said he stood with Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba in their fights for freedom, pushing an aggressive anti-communist message to a rapturous crowd, and suggesting that policy breakthroughs may come soon after the November election.
Republicans, notably U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, have urged Trump to get more “aggressive” with Latin American socialist regimes, and if rhetoric is any indication, the President has a message calibrated for the South Florida stretch run.
Trump has trafficked in aggressively anti-Communist rhetoric, and there was plenty on offer in Doral, including hints that news may be made, at some point, with the ongoing conflict with the socialist Nicolas Maduro regime.
“Venezuela,” Trump said, “you’ll see some interesting things happen there.”
The President said that Biden was soft on Caracas, offering descriptive language to make his point.
“Biden met with Maduro, showered him with compliments. It was all lovey-dovey,” Trump said, whereas the current administration “has put sanctions on them, the likes they’ve never seen.”
The President said that he’d gotten the “total endorsement of the Cuban population,” referring to his endorsement by the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, before suggesting that Havana wants to cut a deal.
“Cuba‘s doing very, very badly,” Trump said. “They want to do something. But I’m not doing anything unless I speak to my friends who came to the White House.”
The President is polling stronger with Latino voters than his performance in 2016, even as polls vary in how close the President is to pulling even with the Democratic nominee with the demographic. Trump noted that in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, he was up by four in the state.
“You’ve seen the polls,” Trump said, to rousing “four more years” chants.
He also made his play for the “Puerto Rican community living in Florida” by citing a Biden Senate vote on a 1996 tax bill that hurt the territory’s pharmaceutical industry.
Biden would “lay waste to Florida’s economy just like he did Puerto Rico’s,” Trump said.